Think about the crawl space in your basement. Do you consider it accessible and useable space, or is it a damp, unpleasant area where you only store a few things because there is no other room in the house? Imagine the benefits you could gain by having a clean, dry area that was adequately protected from the elements. The recommended process is called crawl space encapsulation.
Sounds good, right? Maybe you are pretty handy with repair jobs and would like to give encapsulation a try as a DIY project. The good news is that with a little bit of help, and the proper tools, crawl space encapsulation is something that you can tackle on your own. Keep in mind three important steps described below to get solid results for your project.
Address Existing Problems
It’s essential that you don’t just look past any existing problems before beginning encapsulation—you’ve got to take care of them. Do you have insulation falling into the crawl space? Is there evidence that critters have previously or currently taken up residence? Covering up these problems is not good for your crawl space in the long run.
Apply a Quality Vapor Barrier
Your builder may have used 6mm plastic to line your crawl space, but now is the time to consider an upgrade to at least 10mm plastic, or even 20mm plastic depending on how much you plan to use the space and the likelihood of ripping through it with your activity. (Quality vapor barriers can be resealed even if they are punctured, still maintaining their waterproofing integrity.)
Keep the Crawl Space Nice
Encapsulation is a great first step, but to keep your area properly protected, you should regularly check for any punctures as well as keeping the crawl space dehumidified as best as you can.
Many professional basements and crawl space companies offer evaluation services, tools, and kits to help ensure you have the most success with your DIY crawl space encapsulation!